Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

25 February 2011

a star shines bright every night: a channelling


it's been a little while since
ol' Makropoulos has done
one of her extended

so there may be some folks out there
who might prefer
to ignore this one;
I can go places right now
that the ordinary
mind may find
a little
                                                        out there.

I know that.
But my mind goes there.

And somewhere in my heart I know

there is an iota of truth

in what I write.

I am grateful for the readers
I have,
and I realize sometimes
one of my extended pieces
can be tiring.

Hell, they're tiring for me.

But here goes:

The more I think about it, it's the way to go.

Yes, wouldn't it be a dream if

on 11/11/11 at 11:11


decided, that for the next year

or so

that is, until

12/21 2012
when the Mayan Calendar ends,

we all just started being


to each other?

~ * ~

I wrote that once,

and I'll write it down again.

Every morning I wake up to more news,

and it makes me think,

as I lie there in bed:

is it Armageddon yet?

I mean seriously folks,

how bad does it have to get

before we all stop trying

to destroy each other?

I mean seriously,


~ * ~

Because that's when Armageddon
will come.

At that moment when

we all

destroy each other.


at the rate we're going,

we may do it

before  December 2012.

That's right.

We're doing such a damned good job of hating

each other

that we might just succeed

at wiping all of us out

before we even get to December




the great proposal

is this:

stop it, will ya?

start being nice.

If you do that,

I'm telling ya'

Jesus will come

in the hearts of women and men

Jesus will come.
At this point, let
me please insert a channeling I received
on the morning of February 16:

I wake up every morning and I ask myself:

is it Armageddon yet?

How will we know 

when it's here?

Will there be trumpets?

(            I say no


no trumpets.


Just a deafening silence

as the apparatus (this world)  produced

by men and women

to sustain themselves
                                                       flickers off.

There may be screaming
a collective scream
of horror as we realize we
cannot turn it on 


There may be, if we believe
that that is what we need 
to survive.

There may be looting, and
mugging, and murdering
as the disaffected and 
assert their form of justice
over the judges and the lawyers and the abusive
law enforcers.
There may be unspeakable horrors
as humans are left
                            in the darkness
to discover the darkness
they harbor 
in themselves.

There may be.

But may be


What of Jesus?:

will he come again?

And how will we know,

will we learn by word-of-mouth
                          or radio

that somewhere in Bethlehem
in a stable 

was born to a virgin

( apod )

and a star shone bright?

And the relief will be great

because we will recognize Him.

But history shows

that Jesus does not come in the clothes

we expect him to wear.


not at all.

That is the true test:

recognizing Jesus

where we least expect


I'm fairly consistent
in my message
in this regard:
that yes, Jesus will come
if we let Jesus come

and the miracle again will be
the manner of Jesus' birth.

Jesus will be born,

to each of us, if we can conceive
of the notion that Jesus lingers

inside of each of us, that we are all Jesus

in disguise.

Jesus can and will come

and conquer the world

if everyone could be


if everyone dared to discard

their home and family

and a couple megolamaniac churches

and followed these teachings.

( apod )

I've said it before;

I'll say it again:

many would feel that

only an idiot -

a fool -

would follow the teachings of Jesus


I mean


Love one another?   (literally)

Don't judge one another?    (literally)

Do for the others as you 

would have them do
unto you?


Turn the other cheek 
rather than

fight back?


Only an idiot;

only a stupid Fool

would act that way

unabashedly and


in the modern world made by men.

I know, because I've tried.

And I have learned I have to keep a wide
to the ones who feel

that those who love unselfishly

are here for them to use and abuse.

I fight back bitterness and keep looking for that place where I found

utterly forgiving 


I won't give up on love;

it is the one thing that keeps us human

love, and laughter.

And I firmly believe

that to sustain humanity,

we must enact love

with a vengeance.

And if we try
we will see
that it's a very wise
who plays the card
of Love.

22 February 2011

St Vincent

It's been a busy week,
my dear readers, dear world.

And it's still busy.

(Is it Armageddon yet?)

Maybe not


But I wanted to post my latest 

St. Vincent
(aka: Annie Clark)


17 February 2011

On Parking Tickets

Are you one of those people
who will get a ticket even when
you're parked right in front of your house?

Are you one of them?

I am.

a lot -

But this morning I had
the most extraordinary experience.
Where I live, we have these insane
alternate street parking laws.
I mean:
they are insane. 

I've lived in a lot of places,
including in cities where alternate street parking laws
actually made sense:
you moved your car on garbage night; 
and in the winter, 
you moved your car every other night
so they could keep both sides of the street clean.

Well, here, I'll tell ya:
there's no rhyme or reason.
You don't move it on garbage day
until after the garbage truck comes through,
and when the snow is so high
you need cross-countries skis to get your mail,
you only move your car once a week.

Now, go figure.

~ ~ ~

Well, anyway,
there was my car
sitting in front of my house,
required by law to be moved 
by ?:00 am, and I didn't leave
the house til later than that. 

How late?

Let me just say this:
I was late enough that I met the ticket cop
just as he was walking up to my car.

I should say:
I was just walking out my door
when he was walking up to my car.

And I called out:
Hey officer!  That's my car!

Fully expecting him to say:
That's your tough luck, sweetie, you didn't move it.

But, he didn't.
Instead he acted like he'd just gotten caught
with his hand in the cookie jar, and he said,
Oh, OK.  Sorry.

And he walked away.

Now was this a random act of kindness?

Or could it be
that that dear officer knew
that if he gave me a ticket,
he'd make $35 
for the city that day.

How would he know that?

Because I always pay my tickets, and
I'll bet you
they can access that information
by running my license.

Silly me.

I pay those fuckers,
generally the next day.

So guess who gets tickets?


Perhaps I need to change my M.O.

So of course,
this rather simple but extraordinary
experience got me thinking:

was this just a random act of kindness
(which is what I decided at the moment,
and I went to work,
feeling so happy)

Or did that officer run my license
and see the notation
("This Stupid Chick Pays Her Tickets")

and then jump out of his car
for a little extra revenue?

Perhaps they have a quota

of people like me
that they're supposed to ticket

every month.

I remember once,
I got three tickets on my windshield
in this one night 
when my car didn't get moved
because I was inside sick.

Three tickets on my window
for one night
of being too sick
to go out and move my car.

Now isn't that a little overkill?

You do begin to wonder
why they just like to pick on

But the officer this morning kind of made
my day.
I hope he remembers that I live here
the next time
I sleep in a little.

14 February 2011

post-Valentine's Day video

I absolutely hate
Valentine's Day.

But I heard this on the radio while I was driving home
and thought:

yes, that's my Valentine's Day song:

Hope it was a good one for you.

11 February 2011

2/11/11: Oh, Egypt (a channel ing)

the world is full 
of patterns,
                             and today
is a most amazing pattern:
2 - 11 - 11
                               or, if you're
in Europe
11 - 2 - 11
which is prettier.

Either way,
it's magical:
and look what happened:

One of the world's very
oldest of civizations
made a peaceful decision

May the peace they found
stay with them,

in the spirit of 

11 - 2 - 11

                                 Who will the next nation
                                               be to find a civil
                                                  solution to an old
on a harmonious


God bless you,


09 February 2011

Elton, Leon & Bernie: Best Part of the Day

I went from my last posting 
to dinner.

And while I ate,
I was listening
to Elton John & Leon Russell's album
The Union,
which you may recall,
I just went gaga over
even before it was released, and I still listen to it, at least 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 times a week.

This is my current favorite song,
and I really wanted to share it,
on this chilly,
winter's day:

Best Part of the Day
by Elton John & Bernie Taupin

I hear you singing "I Shall Be Released"
Like a chainsaw running through a masterpiece
But that's all right, that's ok
Grab the bottle and slide my way
You dreamt of a devil down below
Sprinkled cayenne pepper in your sugar bowl
But he's a fool and he's a thief
Got silly little horns and pointed teeth:

Roll back the covers and raise the shades
We don't want to miss out on the best part of the day
You're my best friend, you shared my crazy ways
Now we don't want to miss out on the best part of the day
There's a canyon where an echo hangs
Like the ancient bells of Notre Dame
It's beyond the hills out of sight
Thought I heard them ringing all last night
Hear the mating call of the morning dove
Like Romeo angels in the roof above
Rains will come sweet and clean
Let the tears of God keep the mountains green
[repeat chorus]
One big sun coming up, old moon going down
Thunder breaking in the east
I'm gonna love you 'til it comes around
[repeat chorus]
You're my best friend you shared my crazy ways
Now we don't want to miss out on the best part of the day
© 2010 Mercury Records Limited

I do think this song goes well
with my next entry,
which is hot off the presses:

Living in Ice-Land

I've only been to Iceland
once, around the year 1992.

But the exact day was certain:
it was June 21: the longest day of the year.
And in Iceland that means the sun
never leaves the sky.

In Iceland in June,
many fields are green, but
you can also find ice, for sure,
and geysers,
and the 
omnipresent smell of
and the pale blond Icelanders
smile at you and dance
in the sun, determined to celebrate
their endless day.

The man who was my husband at that time
was mad at me,
when I slid between the sheets
and fell asleep
around 1:00 a.m.
He wanted to stay up through a night
with no night
(I believe he actually did, too),
and now I understand why:

It was a rare occasion,
it was why one would be
in Iceland on June 21,
and I, with my usual
fell asleep.

The people of Iceland
drink a lot,
sincerely and matter-of-factly:
it's what one must do to weather
those long, cold, dark nights.

The people of Iceland
read a lot too,
and their eyes burn like
smoldering coals,
turned inside out by months of

One of their great national poets was a guy
I visited what is reported to be his home,
but it looked like a mound of sod with a door:
the people of Iceland know
that when it's really cold
true warmth can be found

When you look through the Icelandic phonebook,
(and if I recall correctly, there was only one
for the whole country)
you will find the names are alphabetized
by first names,
not by last;
even last names are spawned 
by first names;
I interpreted this to suggest
that these people accept and acknowledge
they're all in this together,
so they might as well not try to mask anything
with the false veneer of 
In fact, reportedly,
there is not much crime in Iceland.
One would be foolish to alienate one's self so
in such an alien land.

I remembered that trip to Iceland
today, as the sun glinted off the deep, hard packed snow
in the quadrangle of the college where I work,
and then again, as I shoveled over a foot of the heavy stuff
off the second story porch roof
connected to the place
where I live --

We are, so many of us,  living in Ice Land right now.

And I believe
we have a lot to learn
from the people of Iceland
in this chilly season,
as our wounded earth pulls round herself
this deep white blanket,
a death-like blanket to us,
but really intended to restore.

We struggle across the surface of it,
insistently trudging
through our self-important, self-destructive
lives as we know them,

but what we really know,
if we listen to our bones,
is that we should be sleeping right now,
gently resting inside the womb
of our slumbering mother,

Iceland, they say, 
is the youngest landmass on earth, and under her surface
bubbles the cauldron 
of new life.
The ice and snow protect the budding rebirth,
and heals the wounds inflected
by her heedless inhabitants.

~ ~ ~

I've decided to become
an Ice-Lander today,
and always,
and the next time I get the chance
to experience endless day,
I'll stay awake,
and bask in it.

05 February 2011

recognizing subterfuge: to Egypt

I need to speak of Egypt.

I watch, in amazement,
not quite sure
what to think.

Part of me wants to rejoice
in the collective power
of human will,

and part of me wants

to puke.

Not only are we watching,

on t.v. and the internet,
a modern revolution,
a revolution
fed and informed
by the new media,

 (New York Times story: 2011/02/06)

but we can also watch the machinations
of different political interests
at work.

The world has gained
a lot of skill at seeing
and knows that every international leader
that has something to say
has something to say
for a reason.

In fact, I think
every national population
-- except that of the USA --
has mastered the art of 



( psychologytoday )

~ * ~

As of right now, I agree
with Hillary

     Yes, the energy 
of popular uprising
is so stimulating,
but it can quickly become
rank and base,
especially once the 
popular uprising begins to realize it needs
to choose representatives.

Just today I read an interview,
in which a member of the crowd said
they need someone to 
and that,
my friend,
is where the trouble
can and will

can represent them?
Who can represent
a collective cry 
for freedom?

What one person can do that


I wish them well,
every sweet
I wish
them the very best.

jaunted )

02 February 2011

enter the Age of Comedy

It's time for us to end
The Age of Tragedy;
we've been living in it
far too long.

Now, you wonder,
what on God's earth 
does she mean, but you know
this verbious chick will tell you
that, and more.
Furthermore, perhaps you
(like I) are beginning to wonder 
if I ever laugh.
Those last two entries were
dark, and darker still.

But in fact,
I crack a smile on many occasions, and my laugh
is loud.  I love the rush of fresh air
that comes with laughing,
and the way it loosens my clamped
jaw.  This is why
I write this entry:
~ ~ 

We've been living in the Age
of Tragedy 
for far too long.

Now the word "tragedy" can be defined
in a number of ways; I talk
to my students about this a lot,
and here, as in the classroom,
I define it in its most classical sense,
the way Aristotle did:

Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not of narrative; through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions.  (Poetics)

as you can see,
tragedy is all about
plot and performance.
Its single, ill-fated action
does unfold in narrative time,
enacted by humans
(Notably, according to Aristotle,
the most suitable tragic heroes are men)
while others witness,
watching one man, one great man
make one great
stupid mistake.

We, the onlookers,
are supposed to benefit from watching
that fatal error.  We're supposed to be purged
of our own sadnesses and nasty desires,
learn a vital lesson,
and get on with living,

Over time, dramatists like Shakespeare
added a second plot,
and even women;
dear Arthur Miller made sure
the Common Man could share
in the carnage, and August
Wilson painted it black.

Tragedy, for thousands of years,
has, ultimately, held the place of choice
in our dramatic fayre.

~ ~ ~ 

Now, I'll take a logical step here
that asks you to apply some of my other ramblings:

Narrative time 
is Real time; 
Narrative time
is All Time.
A distinctive feature of
Narrative time
is that it has a clear
beginning, middle and end
(aka: birth, life, death);
its dominant message
can be summarized
in stories.
Narrative time is the time
we live in.  Lives unfold around
us, patterned by established patterns
we have come to call History.

We live in narrative time.
We --         
----- each of us ---
write our stories with each step
we take, each word we 
utter, each heart we
break.  Of course, when we get
to the end of our stories, and
look back at them,
we just remember
the highest highs and the lowest
lows, editing out the daily trips
to the bathroom.

On some level, we all know
that this is what we are doing
in our lives:
creating our own stories.
This is why we 
go to college, 
get married,
get promoted
have children
get divorced
go on journeys
all of these acts provide chapters
in the narrative of our lives
and lead us to place we think
we'd like to be
in the end,
as we face our end.

Sometimes, we feel the need
to edit our stories, with lies
and omissions,
we convince ourselves that we
are always right,
believing that when we review
it all at the end,
the lies will have the power to erase
our biggest transgressions.

Unfortunately, I tend to think that in the story
we will witness at the end, when
we confront that unflinching mirror
of death, those lies and denials will apear
just as that: 
lies and denials.
(ex: she had an abortion
and told everyone
she lost the child
he cheated on his fathful wife
and when his wife suspected, he convinced her
she had an overactive thyroid
to divert her attention. .  . 
That's how the lies will appear to us.
The mirror that divides
this world from the next
captures each of our actions

Anyway, I can see my own pen meandering.
Back to my point:
we live in narrative time
and each of our lives,
so distinctly framed by
a beginning and an end,
all contain a series of plots.

~ ~ ~ 

Now, a bit over a year ago,
I wrote an entry that referred to the idea
that there are 36 recognized plots
in drama (or so some critics
say), and every play
can be summarized by one
of those plots.

Notably, they're all Tragedies.

In that earlier entry I wondered if the same
could be said of our lives.
At that time my own life
seemed to be catapulting
down a pre-ordained path
that could only end tragically,
and quite frankly, 
I didn't like it.  I felt fated,
and I refused to accept that version
of my own story.
In the time since,
I have reclaimed power over the direction
my feet are tracing, but I'm still 
unsure of the ending.
But aren't we all?
That truly is the part of each
of our stories
we generally have little power over.

Anyway, at that time, I considered how perhaps
our lives follow
pre-ordained, repeated plots,
that traverse this earth in cycles,
unrecognized until the end, when
we come face to face 
with the plot we accepted,
and lived,
in this lifetime.
Thinking we couldn't change it,
we followed the footsteps of those
who came before.

And the dominant genre,
the favored genre 
of the past 2,500 years or so,
has been Tragedy.

Just look at it:
the blood spattered across the lines
our feet have traced, 
collectively and individually.
Even the story of Jesus
is a tragedy : He saves us
in a self-sacrificial gesture; He
provides us all with a text we repeat
a text that documents humanity's greatest sin:
the Sin of Killing Innocence.
A sin we keep committing,
over and over.

Who is the Hero in that?

* * *

Notably, the joy in the story of Jesus
comes from two places:
in the insistence of the primacy of Love
in an act that, in other circumstances
would be called "magic."
He rose from the dead:
And, arguably,

 ( utexas )

 Now, quite frankly,
one is more likely
to encounter
restoration of order
and a celebration of Love
in a Comedy.

Aristotle, by the way,
appeared to disapprove
of Comedy.  
This is what he had to say about it:

Comedy is, as we have said, an imitation of characters of a lower type- not, however, in the full sense of the word bad, the ludicrous being merely a subdivision of the ugly. It consists in some defect or ugliness which is not painful or destructive. To take an obvious example, the comic mask is ugly and distorted, but does not imply pain. 

Aristotle did grant women a place 
in Comedy.

~ ~ ~ ~

Now the thesis of this rambling blog entry is 
that we should have done with 
The Age of Tragedy
and commence
with Comedy
(or at least the Tragic-Comic,
which acknowledges that life has elements
of both.)

I propose (as I have said) that each 
of our lives follows a path,
a path we choose;
our feet are our pens,
their markings, ink, indelibly
etched across the pages of earthly time.

Unfortunately, I propose,
collectively humanity keeps following in the previous
generations' paths, wearing them deep into the brow
of human memory,
so deep we seem to have 
no other option.

Those paths are painfully tragic,
and sad, full of mistakes that we could not accept,
as we are
as blind as Oedipus before his 

It's time,
I think, to have done
with the Tragic Plots that History
continually replays; 
we've become too obsessed with gore,
titilated by catharsis so much so
that we've lost sight
of the lessons we are supposed to be learning,
all because we,
the potential heroes, 
keep lying, from age to age, refusing
to accept responsibility for the sins
we've committed.

The lesson I've learned in my multiple lives
that you cannot hide from yourself.
Ultimately, when the crowd is gone,
when you face your own silence,
the truths are always there.

The only way out of the lies that cloak our vision
is to tell our own truths,
first to ourselves,
and then to those we've deceived,
always remembering
that only (s)he without sin
can cast 
the first stone.

So let's imagine the majority of humanity
decided to do this.
The only humans who should qualify as judges
in this collective, individual confessional
will be
children, with the average age 
of three.
If they heard all these stories
of our indiscretions
they would laugh at the foolishness
of humanity before them,
they would cry a little too,
but finally,
thank us for finally telling them
the truth,

and they'll still love us,
because we taught them well.

Jesus will come again
at the very instant 
the Age of Comedy dawns,
at the crack of the collective human laugh
at our own foibles
and clumsiness,
at the bursting of
collective love
that refuses to lie
ever again.

Jesus will be there,
covering the earth like a blanket,
his smile glimmering in the stories
that we've each told, 
and in our final realization that WE 
have the power to end the Tragedy
as Comedy.